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Coaches Should Never Be On The Field

College lacrosse coaches should NEVER be on the field during the course of live play. This is a rule. It needs to be enforced now.

College lacrosse coaches should never be ON the field.

In the bench area?


Super.

Tiptoeing the sideline inside the coaches area as you berate the official?

Fine.

EARLY ACCESS

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Stepping even one foot outside the coaches area unless you’re called onto the field?

No. It can not happen. And this is why:

Coaches can not go on the field.

This is a rule, and now it needs to be enforced to the letter of the law.

Chris Bates is allegedly the coach in the video above, and he has been placed on Administrative Leave by Princeton after Saturday’s incident. I will wait to see what happens from an investigation, but from the video above, one thing is abundantly clear:

Coaches should NEVER be on the field during the course of live play.

Referees at every level of college (and probably high school) lacrosse need to be on the lookout for coaches on the field now, and they need to be strict. It needs to lead to a team penalty, and the rule, WHICH IS ALREADY ON THE BOOKS, just needs to be enforced.

Can an extra player wander on to the field? No, that is penalty.

Can a coach walk onto the field? No, also a penalty.

Doubt that? Here is the rule, directly from the book:

Conduct Foul

SECTION 7. A coach shall not enter the field of play without the permission of an official, except to attend to an injured player or to warm up a goalkeeper, or during halftime.

That seems pretty cut and dry to me. Refs call too many men penalties pretty cleanly. Why does this rule get ignored?

Now I am NOT blasting the refs here. It’s been a long-held tradition that head coaches could take a couple steps onto the field. All that the above incident has done is take that tradition and trashed it thoroughly.

Coaches are not allowed on the field during college games. The rule is not reactionary, nor is it changing because of the above video. However, the rule will now need to be enforced. That much is certain.

I don’t know what will happen to Coach Bates, but I do wish that all parties (not only those directly involved) will grow from this incident, and that our sport takes the appropriate steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

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